In the context of increasing energy demand, forest timber residues and leaves are a potential resource for fuel. How renewable are these resources? What are their qualities as a fuel? These issues can be answered through parallel works in two research fields: forest sciences considering nutrients cycles between plants and soil and growth and yield dynamics of the trees, and energy sciences considering the qualities of fuel such as heating value, and ash content. This interdisciplinary interaction leads to the balanced thinking between nutrient dynamics (harvesting forest residues while maintaining soil fertility and wood production) and energy interests.
In a previous work, a study was presented that intended to bridge the two research fields by predicting the ash content and higher heating value in trees from a model developed by biogeochemists for predicting elemental composition distributed in several tree compartments.
The models developed were applied on predictions of characteristics of forest products. These characteristics were outputted from a growth and yield simulator developed by forest research. This application added energy characterization to the wood biomass described biochemically.
This connexion was the first step for the development of a simulation package which aims at characterizing the production chain of energy wood from forest growth and yield simulations (developed by forest sciences), through energy characterization (use of the interdisciplinary model), to harvesting and transformation chain characterization (energy and engineering sciences).
Here, we quickly describe the models connecting biochemistry to fuel characterization of forest biomass; then we describe the simulation package and how these models are connected to biochemists models in the simulation package and finally we explain why the use of such a package is an important tool toward the improvement of the biomass production chain quality.